The 13 Best Rock Songs Of 2013

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Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

The past year has been great for hard rock music and as a hard rock music lover, I will like to share my Top 13 best hard rock songs of 2013. Thank you for supporting The Rock Riff this past year and I hope we will share many more years together. My list will start at Number 13 and lead up to my Number 1 song of 2013.

13. Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll – Taxi Violence

I had the pleasure of seeing South African band Taxi Violence perform at Kirstenbosch this year supporting Seether on their semi-acoustic SA tour. I love the pureness and the groove of the song, it’s really refreshing.


12. Here’s To Us – Halestorm

Halestorm’s crowd-favourite, hard rock anthem comes in at Number 12, the band has had a bumper year with a promising future. They kicked off the year with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performed at the Bandit Rock Awards, Lzzy Hale sang a duet with David Draiman on Device’s cover of “Close My Eyes Forever”. They supported Alter Bridge on their UK and European tour, the highlight of Halestorm’s year was winning a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Category.


11. Never Never – Korn

From their latest album The Paradigm Shift comes ” Never Never” a song about relationships and the feelings we as people experience when we have been hurt by loved ones. The video for this song was one of my favourite music videos of the year.


10. Adrenalize Me – In This Moment

The provocative and sexy single from In This Moment comes in at number 10. The dark, gritty guitars combined with Maria’s powerful vocals topped with a great chorus is a great combination. the music video for this song is creepy, sexy and very entertaining.


9. Live It Up – Airbourne

Everyone’s favourite Ozzie rockers delivered an adrenaline pumping track sure to tantalise and entertain their audience at any of their live shows. The band never cease to deliver some head-banging tracks and “Live It Up” was no exception.


8. Going To Hell – The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless returned in a big way last year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their studio mid-recording, wiped out the majority of the band’s gear as well as a slew of demos and near-completed recordings for their new album. They had to rebuild, this song addresses the tragedy and how the band struggled to regain their footing.


7. Slow Suicide – Scott Stapp

Scott Stapp’s solo career continued in 2013 when he released his second solo album “Proof Of Life” on the 5th of November 2013. After reading Scott Stapp’s 2012 Memoir Sinner’s Creed, the listener understands the song and music video so much better. I really admire Scott for using his own life and experiences as a method of educating others who face the same challenges. The music video for the song depicts time periods in his own life and how he was saved by music and his family. It’s a powerful song and it has a powerful message to convey.


6. Conquistador – Thirty Seconds To Mars

An upbeat song of defiance and courage with an infectious beat underlined by the chill-inducing backing vocals of Knights of the White Shadow. Thirty Seconds To Mars are an innovative band and this song just seems to verify that. Despite not being released as a single the song has been featured in the “Become Immortal” trailer for the video game,WWE 2K14 & Need For Speed Rivals.


5. Vilify – Device

2013 saw the debut of a new industrial metal band named Device, fronted by David Draiman of Disturbed. “Vilify” was the first single released off of their self-titled album. The powerful and potent single was a great introduction to the album. The music video features David Draiman’s wife Lena as the android/robotic figure.


4. Adrenaline – Shinedown

Shinedown released Adrenaline as a single off of their 2012 album “Amaryllis” in 2013. The title for the song is self-explanatory and it is a straight-up hard rock song. Powerful, pounding drums and roaring guitars dominate the song and it does not disappoint.


3. Do Me A Favor – Stone Sour

Stone Sour released “Do Me a Favor” as a single on February 12th, 2013. The first time I heard the song I was hooked. I listened to it about 5 – 10 times the same night I heard it. It’s an aggressive song, but it has a really fantastic chorus which creates a nice contrast. “Do Me A Favor” comes from “House of Gold and Bones – Part 2”.


2. Hail To The King – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold released their sixth studio album Hail To The King on the 27th of August 2013. The title track and lead single off the album was released on the 15th of July 2013. The song has , in my opinion, one of the best intro’s I have ever heard, combining the guitars and drums in a sinister way. M.Shadows enters the song 1 minute and 10 seconds into it, with some powerful and threatening lyrics. The song has a unique dynamic and takes the listener on a medieval journey. The music video is one of the best videos I have seen this year. All in all a fantastic delivery from A7X. Enjoy!

NUMBER 1 : Addicted To Pain – Alter Bridge

I suppose it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE Myles Kennedy/Alter Bridge fan, so this might not surprise dedicated The Rock Riff readers. Although I’m well aware that this might make me seem biased, but I’m sure that almost everyone will agree that the Number 1 spot is well-deserved. Addicted To Pain gets in your face and doesn’t let up for 1 second. A fast-paced, aggressive song heightened by Myles Kennedy’s vocals. The song is about a person who is being used in a relationship and is too blind to realise it. The song is written from the perspective of the “witness” /friend who can see what is happening but has no power to stop it. Alter Bridge made a triumphant return from their 2010 album ABIII with the release of “Fortress”. They will continue their tour in support of “Fortress” in  2014, which will include Sweden, Japan, UK, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and the US.

Fortress has received critical acclaim. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic, indicating ‘universal acclaim'” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Thank you for reading and supporting The Rock Riff in 2013, I hope 2014 will be even better!


Lauren K

Frontman of the Week – Corey Taylor

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Early Life

Corey Todd Taylor was born on the 8th of December 1973, he is an American musician famous for his role as lead vocalist and lyricist of Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Corey Taylor was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Corey briefly lived in Orlando with his uncle, although Corey was raised by his mother in Waterloo, Iowa for the most part. Corey described Waterloo as a hole in the ground with buildings around it. He has a Belgian, Polish and Danish background that he inherited from his father’s side.

Corey was raised by his single mother and he grew up not knowing his father. His father left prior to his birth and at his mother’s request remained absent from Corey’s life.

Corey developed a liking toward classic rock after his grandmother introduced it to him. In 1979 Corey and his mother was watching the science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century when the trailer for the 1978 horror movie “Halloween” came on. This introduced Corey to masks and horror themes. On the other hand his grandmother fueled his love for rock music playing him a collection of Elvis Presley’s songs from the mid-fifties to late seventies. Corey especially developed a liking toward the songs “Teddy Bear”, “In The Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds”. He also started listening to Black Sabbath starting with their early work.

Corey along with his mother and sister lived in an old dilapidated farmhouse, which in late autumn would look like Black Sabbath’s album covers. By the age of 15 Corey had already developed a drug addiction and by that time he had already overdosed on cocaine twice. At that time Corey was living in Waterloo Iowa, but he later decided to set out on his own. He ended up living in his grandmother’s trailer in Ohio. His grandmother took legal custody of him and helped him buy musical equipment. When Corey was 18 years old he left his grandmother’s trailer and went to various places, but he returned to Des Moines on numerous occassions.


In Des Moines, Iowa, Joey Jordison, Shawn Crahan, and Mick Thomson approached him asking him to join Slipknot. Corey initially agreed to join one of their practice sessions and ended up singing in front of them. Of the nine members that Slipknot consists of Corey was the sixth member to join the band. At the time Corey felt he could expand more in Slipknot than in Stone Sour and he temporarily quit the band even though they were recording an album with Sean McMahon. Corey performed with Slipknot for the first time on the 22nd August 1997, which according to band members did not go well. He performed without a mask the first time, but for the second show Corey wore a mask that resembles his debut album mask. Corey has recorded with Slipknot since the release of their second demo album which was a self-titled demo used to promote the band to prospective labels and producers. He recorded with Slipknot at Indigo Ranch which is situated in Malibu, California.The band’s debut album Slipknot peaked at number one on the Top Heatseekers Chart, it went Double Platinum in the US and it was included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Corey began recording for their second studio album “Iowa” in 2001 at Sound City and Sound Image in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California. The album was released on the 28th of August 2001 and peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart, as well as number 3 on the Billboard 200. While writing for Slipknot’s third album Corey decided to write songs that would not call for an explicit label, after critics stated that Corey relied too much on profanity on Slipknot’s second album. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. All Hope Is Gone was the first Slipknot album to peak at number one on the Billboard 200.

Personal Life

Corey has a daughter called Angeline from a previous relationship, she was born in 1992. On the 17th of September 2002 Corey’s then fiance Scarlett Stone gave birth to their son, Griffin Parker. Corey Taylor and Scarlett Stone got married on the 11th of March 2004. Scarlett took it upon herself to face Corey’s mother about the issue of his father’s absence. She demanded from Corey’s mother all the details about his father. When Corey’s mother finally gave in Scarlett hired a private investigator to find Corey’s father. When Corey and his father finally met on the 28th of March 2005 , the reunion turned out very well. Taylor was overjoyed by the reunion stating that “A whole new chapter in my life has opened”. Although Taylor and his father now have a relationship their paths do not cross often. Corey and Scarlett’s marriage lasted 3 years after which they divorced.

Corey has also had alcohol-abuse problems. His drinking worsened as time went by, eventually it reached a point where he would drink when he got up in the morning up and generally wouldn’t stop until he blacked out. According to Corey the problem began to eat away at his family when he became disinterested in the things happening around him and when he showed no concern for the people in his life. Corey made several suicide attempts, all this culminating to the events that took place on the night of the 14th of November 2003. On this night Corey was attempting to jump off the 8 story balcony of Hyyat on Sunset Boulevard. Corey first said that his wife at the time (Scarlett Stone) stopped him from jumping. In an interview with Kerrang! Radio Corey recanted that statement and stated that it was actually his friend Thom Hazaert who stopped him from jumping. Scarlett gave Corey an ultimatum stating that he would either have to sober up or she would annul their marriage.

Stone Sour

Corey and electric guitarist for Stone Sour Josh Rand contacted Jim Root (Slipknot’s guitarist) and Shawn Economaki (Stone Sour’s original bassist) to start writing for their debut album. Original drummer Joel Ekman rejoined the band as well. Corey returned to Stone Sour five years after he left the band and they recorded their debut album Stone Sour in 2002. Stone Sour decided to  record at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Their self-titled debut album was released on the 27th of August 2002 and it made its debut at number 46 on the Billboard 200. Before Stone Sour started recording “Come What(ever) May” in 2006, Corey was sober. Their second album “Come What(ever) May” which was released on the 1st of August 2006  debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. During the recording of their third album drummer Joel Ekman left the band due to personal reasons and was replaced by Roy Mayorga. On the 7th of September 2010 the group released their third album Audio Secrecy. The House of Gold and Bones is a concept double album. The first part was released in October 2012 and the second part will be released in April 2013. There are 24 songs in total, 12 on each disc.

Other Work

On the 3rd of August 2009 Corey co-hosted the Kerrang! Awards alongside Scott Ian of Anthrax.  On the 13th of November 2009 Corey married Stephanie Luby. The following year the duo co-hosted the awards again. Corey collected the K! Services to Metal Award on behalf of Paul Gray who died as a result of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl. Paul Gray had also shown signs of significant heart disease. In early September of 2010 Corey announced that his book Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good would be released on the 12th of July 2011 through Da Capo Press.

Corey has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Soulfly, Apocalyptica and Damageplan. He also made an appearance on some of Steel Panther’s singles; “Death to All but Metal”, “Eyes of a Panther”, and “Asian Hooker”. In 2006 Corey founded Great Big Mouth Records. He has produced two albums Face Cage’s self-titled album and Walls of Jericho’s Redemption. On the 13th of January 2009 Corey confirmed that he was working on a solo album, but the material didn’t suit any of the main bands that he is a member of. He describes his solo work as a cross between Foo Fighters, Johnny Cash and Social Distortion. Corey says that there is a country background that comes built-in with living in Iowa. Corey and the Junk Beer Kidnap Band performed their first show on the 24th April 2009 at the People’s Court in Des Moines, Iowa, marking Taylor’s first official solo show. Corey has performed with Dum Fux a punk rock, hair metal cover band and Audacious P which is primarily a Tenacious D cover band.

Corey tried out for the place of lead singer for Velvet Revolver, but it didn’t work out. Corey collaborated with Aaron Lewis in July of 2011 while promoting his solo album. Corey also collaborated with Blink-182’s drummer Travis Barker on Barker’s solo album.

My blog post was slightly delayed due to the amount of research I had to do to write the article. I haven’t really listened to Stone Sour prior to this post, but I absolutely love “Do Me A Favor” from the upcoming album “House of Gold & Bones – Part 2”. I couldn’t stop listening to it! I love Stone Sour’s contrast in their songs, the heavy verses which are interchanged with melodic choruses.

“House of Gold & Bones – Part 2” will be released on the 9th of April 2013.

Corey Taylor is a complex individual with contrasting demeanor. He appears calm and collected during interviews and acoustic performances. He shows his wild side when he is performing with Slipknot and his rebellion when performing with Stone Sour. Corey has a baritone voice (classical male singing voice whose range lies between the bass and tenor voice types). His voice is extremely versatile, his voice can change from a soft melodic tone to a deep growl within seconds. He has used his voice in many ways through melodic singing, growling, screaming, shouting and rapping. Two characteristics Corey has that stands out to me is his diversity and his work ethic. He is always involved in music in one way or another and coming up with fresh ideas.

This was Corey’s thoughts about the Grammy Awards and I have to agree with him. Rock/Metal Awards should be televised, its not like Rock is a niche market like Folk or World music. The Rock music genre should be promoted properly, because millions of people buy rock albums. The rock genre should have more categories too, you can’t throw all of them in one basket, there are various sub-genres within rock music.
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Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinASource:

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinA

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWingsSource:

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWings

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDiseaseSource:

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDisease